Trump a Liar? The Real Story about Deceit in Racial Crime Numbers

The real story on racial differences in crime rates is easy to find. Just go to the Washington Post, New York Daily News, CNN, or the hundreds of other news sites that recently called Donald Trump a “liar” for retweeting some misinformation about inter-racial crime.

These media sites will tell you there is no difference between white and black crime. The only reason black people are arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced five to 100 times more often is because racist cops pick on black people for no reason whatsoever.

This Holy Grail of racial disparity has been featured in the Washington Post (with nine charts!), New York Times, and tons of other outlets as proof positive of Institutional Racism. “When it comes to illegal drugs, white America does the crime, black America does the time,” says the Huffington Post.

Down in Atlanta, Cynthia Tucker from the Atlanta Journal Constitution talks about how “Countless studies have shown that black Americans’ drug use is in line with our share of the U.S. population (about 12-13 percent of black Americans use illegal drugs), but our drug arrests far outpace that.”

Countless meaning zero.

And from these so-called studies, talking heads have generalized the way one commentator at the Washington Post did: “When you see the crime report next time, you know WHY the stats are black. Crime occurs at the same or higher rates in other communities, but the policing and prosecution is higher in the black communities.”

Really now? No.

But that has not stopped this bit of foolishness from becoming conventional wisdom at Congressional hearings and city council meetings and editorial boards around the country.

Before we open the prison doors for all of these unjustly convicted black people -- or make more room for their unjustly neglected white counterparts -- let’s ask two questions: One, how do the professors and big time media folks know that blacks and whites commit the same amount of drug crime?

The Census Bureau told them.

How do they know?

They ask.

Full Stop.


This info is part of the census --- on steroids: Not the ‘ask a question in an envelope’ part. The part where they visit thousands of homes and ask more detailed questions in person. Such as: ‘Do you use drugs? Or smoke pot?’ They do not ask you to piss in a bottle or test you in any way.

They just take your word for it. Then they assemble their answers in a report called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health. And that is how the ‘black and white commit the same amount of crime hoax” was born.

The buzzword for this kind of research is “self-reporting.” As you might guess, this research is itself the subject of a lot of research. And a lot of scientists have found that self-reporting on drug use is not reliable. Especially for one particular group: African Americans.

Yes, they say that.

Even the most ardent Critical Race Theorists have trouble denying the enormous disparity of crime rates among races. But if they don’t, their entire theory of relentless racism collapses.

So they say it anyway – there is no difference between black and white crime -- knowing for sure that most reporters are too wracked with white guilt or shame to challenge anyone who does say it.

Some doctors down at Johns Hopkins University actually found out what happens when you test the reliability of self-reporting of marijuana and other drug use among black people.

A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable. Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 had used drugs. With self-reporting, drug use among black people was 16 percent. With testing, 45 percent.

Ooops. There’s more. Different study. Different journal.

According to the medical journal Addictive Behaviors, “underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.”

Translation: When you ask, white people and black people report using cocaine in about the same amount. But when you test, black people are six times more likely to use cocaine. And lie about it.

More from the same journal for you science -- and truth -- junkies:

The present study also identified predictors of discrepancies between self-report and hair testing. Race was the most salient predictor of cocaine disagreement.

Even when other factors were controlled for, the self-report and hair test results for African Americans were more discrepant than for non-African Americans, a finding consistent with past studies (Fendrich, et al., 1999; Feucht, Stephens, & Walker, 1994).

In a large study of youth (9 − 20), underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well (Fendrich & Yanchun, 1994) where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.

Our study extends this finding to a middle-aged sample of male African American Vietnam veterans and non-veteran community controls.

Race was the most salient factor?

For crime, it is: There is an enormous difference between black and white crime rates in this country. A difference that the same people who call Trump a liar have been lying about for a long time.

Today, they have lots of new targets: Themselves.

Colin Flaherty is the author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The hoax of black victimization, from which this article is drawn.